CATEGORIES DVDs
Two unique mysteries and a comedy highlight this week's DVD releases. Sweden's 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' is the second in the Millennium trilogy by the late author Stieg Larsson and ups the ante in action, kinkiness and psychological dread. 'Winter's Bone,' set in the Ozarks, follows a 17-year-old girl who tries to track down her missing father -- despite dire warnings that women shouldn't mess in such matters. Further east, the girls of 'Sex and the City 2' just don't know how to say no as they fight the fatigue of 21st century marriage and motherhood by partying in Dubai. All in all, it's definitely a week for strong woman. Read on.

'The Girl Who Played With Fire'

What It's About: Kinky Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), that troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker, is back in the second film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millennium trilogy. This time Salander is framed for the murder of two journalists who were on the verge of exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden. Naturally, crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) comes to her aid, and he uncovers murder, corruption -- and heart-wrenching information about Salander's past life.

It's Kinda Like:
'Smilla's Sense of Snow' meets 'Insomnia'

What We Say: This series keeps getting better: 'Fire' out does 'Tattoo' in its sense of dread and its deepening of the psychological underpinnings of its characters, especially Salander. The first go-round was shocking; this one fine tunes the thrills, mystery and violence. The third and final film in the trilogy opens Friday and we're bracing ourselves for more outrageous action and degradation. We just don't know how the American version of 'Tattoo' (directed by David Fincher and starring Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgard and Christopher Plummer) will be able to top this (it opens December, 2011).
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'Sex and the City 2'
What It's About: Is there life after marriage? For the girls of 'SATC' -- Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) -- the traditional roles of marriage and motherhood begin to weigh heavy on their psyches (well, all except Samantha, who only worries that her age may get in the way of more sex). The solution: a whirlwind trip to exotic Dubai, where the girls' night out turns into a mysterious adventure that mends all wounds and solves all problems, readying the ladies for their return to NYC normalcy.

It's Kinda Like:
'Sex and the City' meets 'Showgirls'

What We Say: 'SATC' diehards -- you know who you are -- will love this reaffirmation of upper East Side New York sisterhood. Though the critics demolished the film, you gotta be generous with the four girls -- we go to see them shop, eat, laugh, have fun (and sex) and kvetch in their own inimitable way -- nothing more, nothing less, nothing deep. You have to take them on their terms, not yours (Mr. and Ms. Critics). Enjoy.
• Extras: The DVD and Blu-ray versions include commentary by director Michael Patrick King, "The Style of Sex and the City 2" and "The Men of Sex and the City" featurettes.
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'Winter's Bone'
What It's About:
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) sets out to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails, Ree and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods.

It's Kinda Like:
'Frozen River' meets 'Deliverance'

What We Say:
A harrowing journey into a rural world that has its own rules and regulations; chief among them that a woman needs to know -- and keep to -- her place. Jennifer Lawrence gives a stellar performance as a young girl who rises above that cultural dictum and places family first, community second, as she prods and pushes her way into situations that everyone tells her she shouldn't go into. Winter's Bone' is a sparse, slow-building film that morphs into a gripping mystery that offers several strong wallops along the way to its denouement. Not to be missed.
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Best in Blu-ray: 'House,' 'Back to the Future,' 'Alien Anthology,' 'Maniac'

Other New October 26 DVD Releases:

'Against the Current'
'Altitude'
'Cannibal Girls'
'The Chaser'
'Evening Primose'
'Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie'
'Lake Placid 3'
'A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism'
'Mutants'
'Passenger Side'
'Score'
'Skeletons'
'South of the Border'
'Teknolust'
'Wild Grass'
'Within'

New on Blu-ray October 26:

'Alien Anthology'
'Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy'
'Elf Ultimate Collector's Edition'
'Paths of Glory'

Check out other new October 26 DVD releases at OnVideo.

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